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Post Info TOPIC: I Can't Do This On My Own


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I Can't Do This On My Own


The title says it all,that's why I'm back.

 

I have to believe life can be better than this. I have to believe the program works if you work it. I have to believe my higher power will guide me.

 

And I have to believe you all know what you're talking about.

 

That pretty much sums it up.



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~*Service Worker*~

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I couldn't do it on my own either! I do believe many regulars here absolutely know what they are talking about. I stick around because there is such good recovery here.

The only data point I personally can give you is that, for me, I worked -- and still work -- the program and it has worked for me. I'm involved here, also in real-life Al-Anon meetings and service, also in contact with friends I've made during the process. It all helps.

I think of the program the same way as an exercise routine. I have some exercises I do daily that help manage and prevent pain from my arthritic hip. Doing them every day is really working to keep pain at bay. It's not a cure, but it sure helps. I can move through my life freely. The same with Al-Anon. I've heard Al-Anon described as pain management for those who live or have lived with alcoholism. If I exercise Al-Anon every day, it reduces the pain from my past and gives me a more pain-free today that I can fully enjoy.

I am glad you are here on the journey with us!

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Bo


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Welcome back!

My V-8 (LOL) moment was...OK, wait, it was ME, my thinking, my decisions, my behavior, my actions, my reactions...it was ME who got me here...Oh, OK, right, I got it...It is something or someone OTHER THAN ME...something or someone outside myself, greater than myself...it is something or someone, NOT ME...who can get me out of here!!!

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Bo

Keep coming back...

God, grant me the serenity...to accept the PEOPLE I cannot change...the courage to change the ONE I can...and the wisdom to know it's ME...

 



~*Service Worker*~

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Wb (((sunnyfrogs)) glad you did.  Keep coming back, keep sharing, keep recovering. TT

 



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Faith unsticks fear.



~*Service Worker*~

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Welcome back SunnyF!

I really like Freetime's post on this... "pain management for those who live or have lived with alcoholism."
I found out it applies to all my affairs... as it began changing ME!



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"The wolf that thrives, is the one you feed." - Cherokee legend

"Hello, sun in my face. Hello you who made the morning and spread it over the fields... Watch, now, how I start the day in happiness, in kindness."  ~ Mary Oliver

 

 



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I hear you,sunny.I know how you feel becaause I am right where you are.I have alot of problems right now,the biggest one being that I am married to a recovering alcoholic, who has dementia.I guess that might be better than an active alcoholic with dementia,but I don't know,and I never want to find that out.This is the most difficult thing I have ever had to deal with in my life.In the past 30 years of his 'sobriety', I have tried alanon many times but never stayed with it.I do know,however, that it really does work when you work it because between 2006-2009,I really worked it.Those were the happiest years of my life I recently realized.I have not found any other way out from the misery.I tried church.I tried self help books.

So what I am saying is that in my 50 years of marriage to an alcoholic and years with a mostly alcoholic family,the only thing I have found that really helps me and really changes my life,my thinking,my stress etc, is alanon.It is the only thing that is out there that I have found that understands what I have been going through,who I am,what I deal with,and shows me a pathway out.

As you said,I cannot do this on my own.I have tried and tried and I am tired of it.I know that working the alanon program is the way out.They say the program is simple but not easy.That is true.Anything worth having is worth working for.There is alot that I have to do.No one in the program can work it for me.They will help.They will understand.They will share their experience,strength and hope.And that is invaluable.It is so comforting to talk to or read the words of  a person who really understands me and can offer suggestions of what has worked for them.But working the program is on ME.I have to do the work.Go to the meetings,even if they are on line right now.Work the steps.There are 12 of them and I cannot rush thru them.I am on step 1 right now and I am taking my time.Almost every day something new is revealed to me.Read the literature.I have to really apply myself as if I am going for a degree in college.Except there is no degree.I will never graduate but my life will get better.It is important to have a Higher Power also.

Do yourself a favor,sunny.Stay with Alanon.Work the program.Let people help you.I tried being an island and have been very lonely trying to do it all.I surrender.I'm waving the white flag.

Iris



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Thanks everyone.

I feel less hopeless already. Being at home right now seems so unbearable at times.Everything is stressful enough already with the pandemic,dealing with an A on top of it is impossible most of the time.

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~*Service Worker*~

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Heya Sunnyfrogs! Great to see you back and you have to keep coming back because your avatar makes me grin from ear to ear! I love that MIP is a safe place for us to share our ESH and take breaks from life while learning how to live life on life's terms! And yes - the pandemic is certainly making all things a bit more complicated! Thank God for the concept of One Day at a Time - saves my sanity on a regular basis!

(((Hugs)))

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Practice the PAUSE...Pause before judging.  Pause before assuming.  Pause before accusing.  Pause whenever you are about to react harshly and you will avoid doing and saying things you will later regret.  ~~~~  Lori Deschene

 

 



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I've been dealing with a family emergency since posting here.

The title of this thread now needs to be "I can't do this anymore",along with "I can't do this on my own".AH has been out of control. I got one hour of sleep last night because of his behavior.  At 5AM he was banging(smashing) a pan on the kitchen counter and doing and saying all kinds of horrible things.

I didn't handle it well at all. I lost my temper.I can't do this anymore.

I just can't.

 

How do I completely detach?Or do I detach? What do I do?



-- Edited by SunnyFrogs on Thursday 21st of May 2020 08:22:02 AM

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~*Service Worker*~

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((((Sunnyfrogs))))

That sounds scary. First, are you safe now? You and your kids safety are paramount.

Someone said something to me here that just about drove me crazy at first... 'Nothing changes if nothing changes.'
But you know what? They were absolutely correct. At the time, I didn't want anything to change while wanting everything to change, so I didn't want to accept what they were saying. In other words, I didn't want to be the one who changed. But in the end, I was the only person I could change... not my spouse.
Is this the life you want, right now? In 5 years? 10?
If not, then changes need to happen. Only you will know what those changes will end up being. Only you know what you can tolerate.
When I stopped feeling safe in my own home, and was ready to accept that slogan, "Nothing changes if nothing changes," I left.

I hope today/tonight is better for you.

&



__________________

"The wolf that thrives, is the one you feed." - Cherokee legend

"Hello, sun in my face. Hello you who made the morning and spread it over the fields... Watch, now, how I start the day in happiness, in kindness."  ~ Mary Oliver

 

 

2HP


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powerlessness, yes (((hugs))) Do give yourself permission to take care of yourself WHATEVER that has to look like right now, this moment.

You may feel there is no perfect solution and that is true. but detachment is still key. detachment is the way to cultivate peace. one moment at a time.

You have permission to go in that direction.


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Thanks guys.

First I want to say yes I'm safe and no,there's no kids here,my children are adults.

Nothing changes if nothing changes is what I kept repeating to myself yesterday but somehow I let it turn into just "nothing changes". And then I became hopeless and allowed myself to be pulled into his s*it storm.

And detachment,I know that's absolutely necessary. I was doing pretty good with it until this recent family emergency. It's been too difficult to keep my focus in the midst of it.

It's all a very well played game on his part. If he can keep me upset,push my buttons, then he can take the focus off what he's doing and try to convince me I'm the problem. Smashing a pan at 5 did the trick.

I'm not the problem but I do see I am part of the problem. It takes two to keep this madness going,I gotta stop playing my part.

I do have some plans in the making.It will take time for them to pan out. This pandemic makes everything even more difficult.

Thanks again.



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~*Service Worker*~

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Sunny, I feel for you, and I'm sure sleep deprivation is making things even harder for you, and with the pandemic on top of it. For me, I found that making lists of places I could go -- even if I wasn't ready to go yet -- was helpful. If there is anyplace you can safely go for a temporary break, I'd consider it. I also found a support group in my community for caregivers taking care of sick family members. It was helpful in letting me know about options.

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Hi Sunny. Please know you are not alone. We are all here to support you and each other. Things sound really tough for you at the moment but what I hear is someone who recognises that your AH is pushing your buttons and recognising that you are responding plus someone who recognises that you do have some options even if it feels like you cant action them right now. I just walked in from a beautiful walk in the countryside to be greeted by my AH in all his glory so I am just going to walk straight out again and find a beautiful sunset to watch. I can choose not to engage with him (he is spoiling for a fight) because I know only too well where that will lead. Is this the life I want for myself? No. But like you I am doing steps day by day and sometimes minute by minute to craft the life I do want. Someone on here said to me yahoo you always have other options and that mantra is keeping me going along with the nothing changes if nothing changes. I am changing and it is working and it will for you too. Virtual hugs ((()))). Joanne

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Sunny...I just love that board name because it means so much to me as I picture it in my mind....I love when the darkness of the lack of understanding moves back and away from my vision and also that not much can hide in the little dark corners of my mind. Metaphorically it is an encouraging picture which opens me up to so many solutions at hand including coming here to read and listen to solutions permitting me to act differently which means change.

One of the most important new understandings was, "the courage to change the things I can" and then on a daily basis understanding that this program was a "Do" program and not just a "know" program...."Nothing changes if nothing changes" means often for me to let go of the fear of doing "it" differently and getting a different outcome even if that outcome isn't perfect.  

(((((keep coming back)))))  smile



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Jerry F
Bo


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SF, more than anything, I for one am glad to hear you are safe. In the end, that's what counts during an episode or crisis -- one's personal safety well-being, and not being in harm's way so to speak. Period. That said, I've often felt that when "in it" -- right there and then, during a episode or crisis, in a volatile, uncontrollable situation, all program potentially goes out the door. Safety is concern one and only. It's like the old cliche, everyone has a plan...until they punched in the face! LOL.

When it gets really bad -- like you described -- detachment is sometimes the answer. Sometimes it's the needed answer, necessary answer, and potentially the only answer. My wife was once very drunk, ranting and raving, nothing out of the ordinary...but then it escalated...my typical program reaction, of detaching, which meant politely and respectfully leaving the room, going to another room, by myself, just didn't work. I didn't ignore her. I "did" my boundary, calmly and respectfully said I was not going to engage with her, and I left the room. She followed. From room to room. I couldn't get away. I went outside and she followed, but the yelling and screaming started to alert the neighbors. While I was initially "afraid" the police would come to the house, my rational thought was "OK, perhaps that's what has to happen. Perhaps she has to experience, and suffer, if need be, the consequences of her own decisions and actions." Well, the police didn't come. I went back in the house to lock myself in my home office (this room had a lock on it). We had a room in the house that was specifically my home office, and it actually had a convertible couch that doubled as a bed, so spending the night there would not have been a problem. However, if the situation escalated even more, I thought about getting my "overnight bag" and going to a local hotel. Regardless, the best plain plans go completely awry.

When I got back into the house, and proceeded to go into my home office...in the blink of an eye, I turned around and my wife was standing in the doorway with a very large knife! Now, this was a very critical and defining moment, not just in my marriage, but in my life. While I had no reservations about me being able to "disarm" my wife, I made a decision not to do so. However, let me be very clear...while I made a decision not to disarm her, I also made a decision that I had no desire nor was I willing to even consider...GETTING STABBED WITH A LARGE KNIFE!!!

My point being...while it may not be apparent at the time, and it certainly will not be an option...there is always some option. It may not be ideal, but it is there. While I didn't have my overnight bag, and it wasn't a great option, I was able to convince her to walk out of the office with me and we would calmly talk about this. As soon as she turned and walked out of the office, I immediately closed the door, locked it, and I was now safely in my office. She proceeded to yell and scream, she pounded on the door, and began to stab the door. Why I don't know, but she started stabbing the door, as if she would stab it open, stab a whole and be able to reach in and unlock the door, or what. I have no idea! Regardless, within 5 minutes I had climbed out the window and was on one of peaks/roof sections of my roof! I didn't think through this part of the plan as it was too far down to jump off the roof...although in that moment, I did consider it...but only for a few seconds. LOL. I decided to call my neighbor, who I knew had a ladder, and asked him to get his ladder and come to that part of the house (yes, quietly) so I could climb down. He asked a few dozen questions, and I said I would answer them when I was safely on the ground! LOL. 5 minutes later, I am on the ground talking with my neighbor, answering all of his questions. While I had clothes in my car, I didn't have my car keys, or my wallet or credit card, but I asked him to give me a ride to the local hotel, which...had my credit card on file! LOL. Yes, I had stayed there before when I had to detach and actually leave the house. I was hoping they would be able to use my credit card info from their files. My neighbor offered me to spend the night at his house, and while I considered that, I wanted to be alone and didn't want to complicate matters at home with my wife. I called the hotel, they said no problem, they could charge my credit card...and off I went to the hotel...with no clothes, no money, no credit card. Oh well. My neighbor gave me a ride to the hotel, lent me $100, and begrudgingly dropped me off at the Marriott Courtyard Suites.

I slept fine. I did. Because I was already in recovery and living a life of recovery.

You asked "How do I completely detach? Or do I detach? What do I do?" -- and those are valid, great questions. I am sure someone is going to say "your higher power will tell you" or some philosophical, redementary response. So be it. To each their own. And if you try that kind of thing, let me know how that's working for you. Everyone has a plan...until they get punched in the face. Sometimes there is actual, real world scenarios, where actual, real world ACTION must be taken. Or, I could have potentially gotten stabbed! Maybe. Maybe not. Who knows. But I was not taking that chance. And, if someone is in danger, in my experience, one should always take action to alleviate that so they can be safe and not in danger.

So, for me, my experience, yes, detach. At all costs, efforts, necessities. Whatever the case might be. Violence or violent behavior is unknown as to what happens next, unpredictable, and dangerous! So, yes, detach.

No, nothing changes if nothing changes. But we all know that change references US...NOT THE OTHER PERSON!!! Period. You are so right...limiting that to "Nothing Changes" can be very damaging to us. I too became hopeless and helpless...because I too got pulled into the s*itstorm, and all of the drama, chaos, turmoil, and havoc! Once I got centered and balanced, and back on track with my program...I was fine! Thankfully.

You now have awareness!!! Great for YOU!!! You had a slip because of circumstances, a family emergency. That's OK. Yes, it very much is a very well played game on his part. Whether intentional or not, it doesn't matter. That is part of the disease of alcoholism!!! His focus is absolutely to shift, deflect, etc., all of the focus away from himself and onto you...so that he can keep doing what he wants to do (drinking of course!!!), and gaslight the focus, blame, problem, etc., to YOU. Nice try! LOL.

When all this was going on in my life -- BEFORE RECOVERY -- I too was not the direct, actual problem...but I had a role. I was contributing to it. I was perpetuating the drama, chaos, turmoil, and havoc, simply because of the contribution I was making!!! Yes SunnyFrogs, it does take two to keep the madness going! If you stop, then he's responsible for the madness on his own...and you don't have to participate.

When you go to a wedding...just because the music is playing...that doesn't mean you MUST be out on the dance floor dancing!!!

Keep focusing on YOU and keep focusing on your plan. All the best!

__________________

Bo

Keep coming back...

God, grant me the serenity...to accept the PEOPLE I cannot change...the courage to change the ONE I can...and the wisdom to know it's ME...

 



~*Service Worker*~

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Sunny, sorry you had a rough night. We really are powerless over other people's unacceptable behavior. The upside is that it can really be a catalyst for making positive changes concerning ourself. These can be the times when I feel hp tapping me that it's time, time to make my move. I don't mean hitting him on the head with the pan wink as tempting as that may be. What I mean is that one day you wake up or maybe you haven't gotten to sleep and reality is staring you in the face. You finally get the meaning of "sick and tired of being sick and tired." You don't blow it off as just another unacceptable antic and thank your hp that it's passed now. It stays with you and start digging your way out of that pit of toxic misery and toward more life affirming experiences. At least that's how it went for me. Every action I took toward my Plan B mean't I was moving in a positive direction. Working the steps and calling my sponsor layed the foundation for that becoming a reality some day. It helped my sanity to know I was taking thoughtful actions toward self care and I began to feel less affected by other people crazy actions. Keep taking good care of yourself. You're worth it. ((hugs))) TT



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Faith unsticks fear.



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Thanks for all the replies,they've helped more than you can know.

I don't like singling out just one reply,but Bo,I got anxiety reading yours but found it helpful.  It made me realize I was just as out of control because I was the one following  him around from room to room and making things worse. I wanted him to see/ hear what an idiot he was for smashing a pan but I guess I was an idiot too.

I've sure got much to learn.



-- Edited by SunnyFrogs on Thursday 21st of May 2020 08:45:05 PM



-- Edited by SunnyFrogs on Thursday 21st of May 2020 08:46:13 PM

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Bo


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Thanks SunnyFrogs...You're doing it! Just keep doing what you are doing. Keep looking to and leaning into your program and your recovery. What you were is not who you are. You are better now than you were. You are stronger now than you were. You are healthier now than you were. So keep going!

Believe me, before I got better, before recovery, before I started making change...I too was the one following her around from room to room! I was the one who wouldn't let go! I was the one who kept trying to prove, to be right, to control, and so on!

As tiredtonite said, when we "get sick and tired of being sick and tired" and we hit OUR rock bottom and have had and just say "ENOUGH" -- then, and only then, will we make change. Ironically, no different than the alcoholic/addict.

Keep doing it!!! All the best.

__________________

Bo

Keep coming back...

God, grant me the serenity...to accept the PEOPLE I cannot change...the courage to change the ONE I can...and the wisdom to know it's ME...

 



~*Service Worker*~

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So, so sorry SF for the active disease, all it brings and most importantly - the lack of sleep. What I know about me is when I am awakened unnecessarily and shockingly, I am not my best self (this is being kind - I can be extremely reactive and beyond angry/annoyed)...The HALT comes to mind - Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired - for me, my mind magnifies all things when I lack sleep. I really, really need to just Pause and Pray before I Proceed at moments like this.

Living with 3 active As at one time, with 2 thinking they can cook under the influence was a maddening experience. I was awakened often, and also woke up to some pretty awful messes. I had a healthy fear that one would burn the house down! It did not happen, for which I am grateful.

Detachment is tough, very tough, especially with the disease active as well as the lack of predictability when one is under the influence. My sponsor helped me use the Serenity Prayer often to help with detaching and boundaries. I also learned in recovery to have a Plan B, C, etc. So, I did the following:

- Put a lock on the door to my room, and just locked it when I went to bed.
- Purchased ear plugs, and used them often.
- Had a packed bag, cash stash and necessities in my car always. My keys were always locked with me in my room, as I didn't want anyone deciding a car ride (in my car) was a good idea.
- Ensured I had keys from friends for entry should I need to go.
- Local hotels loaded into my phone in case that felt more better!

My guys have also been known to follow me, raging along the way and I found 2 places they don't follow - the restroom and the laundry room. The former just because and the latter - it's a tight fit for 2 people (for which I am grateful). The disease always seemed worse at night around here and there's no doubt my anxiety level and dread was also worse. I had to practice being calm, staying calm, and letting it all go.

One of my sons broke the door down and I did call the police. I had to call the police a few times until they were retrained by me that idle threats were a thing of the past. When I changed, slowly things changed.

Each situation is different and there's no doubt that if you ever feel threatened, you should exit immediately. I was willing to do so and did do so. As I got better and designed healthy boundaries, I made it crystal clear I would no longer 'live like this/that' and I would also NOT be the one leaving. More police visits and drama before things settled down - part of that was having both of my (adult age) sons move out.

Around here, mine will keep doing unacceptable things until/unless I am willing to enforce my boundaries. I made it crystal clear that I did not view being under the influence as an excuse to ........................................................... (quite the list here). If we do not take action and advocate for ourselves, (let it begin with me), it will continue, at least that was the workings of our dysfunction.

Program basics really helped/help me - Put my needs first! I deserve a peaceful, safe home. I deserve a restful night's sleep. Once I know my basic needs, I then go about figuring out how to make that happen without trying to change, control others. It was very, very hard to change me yet the results were well worth it.

Take good care of you - hopeful that today is better and you got good rest last night! (((Hugs)))

__________________

Practice the PAUSE...Pause before judging.  Pause before assuming.  Pause before accusing.  Pause whenever you are about to react harshly and you will avoid doing and saying things you will later regret.  ~~~~  Lori Deschene

 

 

Bo


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"I can't...He can...So let him..."

We get "smarter" as we get "healthier"

Actually, I think we get our serenity, peace, calmness, and intellect back...because before our thinking was distorted, corrupted, not healthy.

__________________

Bo

Keep coming back...

God, grant me the serenity...to accept the PEOPLE I cannot change...the courage to change the ONE I can...and the wisdom to know it's ME...

 

Bo


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tiredtonite wrote:

Sunny, sorry you had a rough night. We really are powerless over other people's unacceptable behavior. The upside is that it can really be a catalyst for making positive changes concerning ourself. These can be the times when I feel hp tapping me that it's time, time to make my move. I don't mean hitting him on the head with the pan wink as tempting as that may be. What I mean is that one day you wake up or maybe you haven't gotten to sleep and reality is staring you in the face. You finally get the meaning of "sick and tired of being sick and tired." You don't blow it off as just another unacceptable antic and thank your hp that it's passed now. It stays with you and start digging your way out of that pit of toxic misery and toward more life affirming experiences. At least that's how it went for me. Every action I took toward my Plan B mean't I was moving in a positive direction. Working the steps and calling my sponsor layed the foundation for that becoming a reality some day. It helped my sanity to know I was taking thoughtful actions toward self care and I began to feel less affected by other people crazy actions. Keep taking good care of yourself. You're worth it. ((hugs))) TT


 

I like this share more and more each time I read it. Thanks tt!!!

I hit rock bottom and was sick and tired of being sick and tired...and I, out loud, said "ENOUGH...NO MORE"...and yes, I was exhausted. But as soon as I said it...I got an incredible second wind!!!

Never bet against a person's desire to survive...when they truly want to.



__________________

Bo

Keep coming back...

God, grant me the serenity...to accept the PEOPLE I cannot change...the courage to change the ONE I can...and the wisdom to know it's ME...

 



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Sunny Frog,

Big hugs, there's a LOT of information to sort through on this thread .. I think the one thing that seriously comes to mind are actually two things.

1. You did not get here overnight and these things won't just change because .. it will require work when you are ready .. as you indicated some of the information gave you anxiety reading it .. for me that usually means I'm not ready for it. I just need to breath for a second and ask my higher power for me to be willing to look at the changes. So I bookmark it and go back in a few weeks and review it. That gives me time to see how something works for me.

2. You are not required to eat an elephant all in one bite. Again .. relax, make the changes you are prepared to make, come back to this thread .. reread it and it's funny as I change so does my perception of what was shared. There is a lot of good information .. it's just that .. A LOT .. LOL.

Hugs again,

S :)

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Faith minus vulnerability and mystery equals extremism.  If you've got all the answers, then don't call what you do "faith". - Brene Brown



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Thanks again for the replies,for real,it's appreciated.

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I don't want to discuss this because it feels too personal yet at the same time I have nowhere else to discuss it. So here goes...

Hubby,just a little bit ago,asked if I want to "snuggle"(which is code word for more than snuggling). I instantly felt insulted and degraded by it after what happened a couple of days ago . I didn't tell him I felt that way though,instead I told him that I wasn't ready for that,it's something we have to work up to.  That I'm a human being and he can't treat me like he did and then not even apologize and just pretend it didn't happen and expect me to "snuggle".  And then I walked away and now he's acting like a sad puppy and is pouting like I have crushed his world or broke his heart.

I don't like how I am feeling over this,I feel guilty for it but I know I would be feeling worse if I had snuggled with him. I would have been beating myself up afterwards thinking my god,he treated me that way and then he was rewarded for it, that's the same as saying that kind of treatment is ok and I don't mind and I will accept and overlook it.

I could have just said I had a headache or didn't want to. I could have gone ahead and snuggled just to have peace today.

I felt like I HAD to say what I did because I'm not ok with how I do always snuggle no matter what just to make him happy.  Plus,I simply did not want to at all,it's the furthest thing from my mind right now. I am still going through the family emergency I mentioned and my mind is there and on that person and wondering and hoping they will be ok. It bothers me that he doesn't seem the least bit concerned.

Maybe he thinks snuggling is a way to make things right between us,maybe his way of showing he feels bad for how he behaved, but to me, it just makes me feel used and abused.

I'm not sure what I am looking for.  I guess some words of wisdom or validation that it's ok to not do something I don't wanna do. That it's ok to say no and not my responsibility how he reacts to it.  Or something to help me not feel so guilty.

Sorry this is so personal but I do need help with it.



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Sunny, I think you handled this perfectly ... honestly ... and I'm sorry the response was what it was. I can imagine how hard it is to live around someone in that mood.

You absolutely have a right to your boundaries. We all do. I completely understand "giving in" as a behavior in the past. I had to hit my rock bottom before I was able to state a boundary. But what a huge breakthrough you have made -- being able to state your boundary. That is huge, and I hope you can pat yourself on the back for your courage.

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He's over it already,it wasn't the end of the world as he was making it seem.

Yay me, that's what I'm thinking and feeling right now. I didn't do something I didn't want to do. I didn't spend hours trying to explain myself, I didn't do it anyway out of guilt. It may seem so simplistic to others but it IS huge for me.

He's actually mowing the yard now. That's an added plus.

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There's a really good book called The Dilemma of an Alcoholic Marriage. It's very small and simple to read. You are not alone. You are right to your boundaries. Big hugs this is big stuff <3

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((sunnyfrogs))) You made your own feelings a priority. You chose to go with how you were feeling rather than how he was feeling. Finding the courage to say no is big progress in Alanon. You've shown him you respect yourself and have boundaries. In Alanon we say "We teach people how to treat us." He's learning that he can't mistreat you and then expect it to be all good and on his terms. Hopefully, this leads to better communication with him. (((hugs)) TT

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I am celebrating with you!! Looks like you said what you meant and you did not say it mean. unless you did this time but hey, we have to begin boundary setting somehow. for me, when I finally began to practice setting boundaries, I came out swinging.   In recovery, I became aware how I was taught to be a go along to get along girl, a nice girl, a girl who betrayed herself to accommodate the needs and demands of others ... otherwise they wouldn't love me.  that is how I lost myself. 

It was manipulative on their part. when I learned to see "manipulation," there is no more manipulation. we permit ourselves to be true to ourselves instead.

Not sure of your childhood environment but mine was quite dysfunctional. so your post reminded me of the" Laundry List, Characteristics of an Adult Child" (you can google the full list. it comes from a separate group with its own literature, called Adult Children of Alcoholics or ACA. It is not Al-anon literature but helpful nonetheless.)

Characteristic #7:

" We get guilt feelings when we stand up for ourselves. "

Most adult children assume they are wrong whatever the situation might be

and take responsibilty for things that are NOT our responsibility. we might even take on responsibility for the feelings of others

... like a knee jerk reaction to doubt and blame ourselves because of the shaming environment we grew up in.   we were not allowed individuality.

Perhaps you relate to this, and perhaps not.

I just really wanted to come here to say I am applauding you for coming to the fellowship to be validated, applauding you wanting to learn and change.. applauding you for taking care of yourself, you have every right to do that, however you see fit.  even if the whole world doesn't approve.  applause! applause!!

when I took my hands off of him and his lifestyle, I began to expect the same courtesy. I wanted an equal partnership. Live and let live.



-- Edited by 2HP on Saturday 23rd of May 2020 11:45:34 AM



-- Edited by 2HP on Saturday 23rd of May 2020 11:47:38 AM

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Bo


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SF, I am so glad you feel comfortable sharing this. Please don't ever feel it's too personal, or anything of the like. Alanon is a safe place, a welcoming, warm, and accepting place, and the right place. You have a boundary, you honored it, stoody by it AND YOU DID IT politely, respectfully, kind...and you did it with dignity, grace, and class!!! DO NOT EVER FORGET THAT!!! I for one am proud of you, and proud to be a member of the same program as you.

It's OK to initially not like how you were feeling over doing this. It's OK to initially feel guilty. One of the reasons why we don't like how it feels, and we feel guilty...is because we are doing something new. We are doing something uncomfortable. We are doing something (somewhat) "unnatural" and something that we haven't done before, or have done regularly. We are doing something that involved CHANGE. Even after we've done it a few times, we can not like how it makes us feel, or we can still feel guilty. So, we did something new, we made change...How long did we not do this? How long did we not make change? How long did we people please? How many times did we not make change? How long were we unhealthy and just "went along with it" or enabled or said yes or OK, and so on and so on. Change can -- early on -- be uncomfortable. It's new, it's unnatural.

In addition, while this is going on, our feelings can be exacerbated...Why? Because, there is also something else going on here. Remember, when we do what is best and healthy for us...the alcoholic will probably not be happy about it and probably won't be happy with us. Why? Remember is doing what the alcoholic is doing...they are doing what they do...what they always do. In my experience, when I started making change, when I started getting better, getting healthy...when I didn't do what my wife wanted me to do, when she didn't get what she wanted...I ended up on the receiving end of: guilt, blame, anger, sadness, martyrism/martyrdom, depression, crying, rage, manipulation, unacceptable behavior, and more! So, of course, I didn't like the way this made me feel!!! I didn't like saying no and then on top of that, I didn't like how I felt after saying no, because I didn't like her reaction to it!!! Early on, before recovery...this was my never-ending merry-go-round of my sickness and unhealthiness...and I couldn't get out of it! I couldn't get off the merry-go-round! UNTIL I MADE CHANGE. Yes, like I said, it was uncomfortable...but I did it!!! And, I got better. I got healthy.

I didn't realize you were still going through the family emergency...that, and you needs to be the focus. Ironically, he is not even concerned...and while you certainly won't point that out...you can also explore perhaps expressing that...that you are focused on the family emergency situation, preoccupied, etc., and that you are "not in that place" right now...whatever works for you, whatever is best for you. Of course he's not concerned. This shouldn't shock you, or us. Remember who we are talking about...we are talking about an alcoholic. We know their focus. We know they have a disease, a sickness.

BUT...YOU HANDLED IT AMAZINGLY!!! GREAT FOR YOU!!! I felt like I HAD to say what I did because I'm not ok with how I do always snuggle no matter what just to make him happy. Plus,I simply did not want to at all,it's the furthest thing from my mind right now. I am still going through the family emergency I mentioned and my mind is there and on that person and wondering and hoping they will be ok. It bothers me that he doesn't seem the least bit concerned.

It doesn't matter if he thinks snuggling is a way to make things right between the two of you. Keep the focus on YOU. The more I used to try and figure out why the alcoholic was doing something, or what they were doing and what it meant...the more I drove myself crazy! If I spent 30 seconds trying to figure that out...that was 30 seconds less time I had to focus on me and getting better!

You don't have to be sure what you are looking for. Remember...Just For Today...just for today, you don't know. That's OK. That's fine. Just for today. Keep it simple. One day at a time.

It is ABSOLUTELY OK...for YOU to not do something YOU don't wanna do. Not only is it OK...It is NORMAL. It is HEALTHY. It is your right, your choice!!! It is also NOT your responsibility how he reacts to it...and it is NOT something you should feel guilty about!!!

Keep focusing on YOU. Keep doing what you are doing. Keep it up!!!

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Bo


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SunnyFrogs wrote:

He's over it already,it wasn't the end of the world as he was making it seem.

Yay me, that's what I'm thinking and feeling right now. I didn't do something I didn't want to do. I didn't spend hours trying to explain myself, I didn't do it anyway out of guilt. It may seem so simplistic to others but it IS huge for me.

He's actually mowing the yard now. That's an added plus.


 

YAY!!! GREAT FOR YOU!!! AMAZING FOR YOU!!! YOU ARE AMAZING!!!



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I too want to applaud you, Sunnyfrogs!!

By what you told him (Saying what you mean, meaning what you say, but not saying it in a mean way), you created a Boundary!! YOU don't feel like 'snuggling' when your mind and soul are so negatively affected. Brava girl!!

You are not alone, though. I lived that life of either 1) making some physical ailment excuse or 2) just going along with it. There were many, many times (too many to count) that my spouse wanted to "be intimate" when I was actually "flat-out" sick! Imagine! And because I was trying to be the "perfect" wife, or avoid confrontation, or just didn't want to endure the "Moping Mark" all day, I swallowed MY feelings and I went along. I lived with so much guilt if I did not "go along" with what my spouse wanted. I ended up with so much resentment because of that. But you know, in the end, it was all my decision. I had to accept the onus of the outcome of those scenarios. The guilt is harder to get rid of, and I still deal with it in different areas of my life now (I am divorced). I am working on finding out where it comes from (yes, I have looked into Adult Children of Alcoholics - although your family does not necessarily need to be alcoholics). I am trying to get rid of the GUILT that just seems to bubble up.

You took a huge step forward. So keep moving forward!    





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2HP


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Sunny, Al-Anon published a recent book titled Intimacy in Alcohiolc Relationships. Members share their challenges with all aspects of intimacy (physical, emotional and spiritual.).

we had a local group here, that did an 8-week study on this book last year. some of us had contributed our personal ESH to that book.  you are not alone!





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SunnyFrogs - I too want to applaud you standing by your boundary.  That's great progress!

I have been there aswell - giving in to 'snuggles with my AH when he had been 'good' for a few days and feeling guilty if I didn't, until I recognised that a) it was just manipulation on his part and b) that I was enabling him by allowing him to get what he wanted when he changed his behaviour for a few days and c) most importantly that I didn't want that type of intimacy as all the other elements of intimacy (having a loving partner who I knew I could rely on and was there for me and had my back) were completely absent.   Plus also having it thrown back at me that my lack of intimacy was the cause of his drinking.

Boundaries are so important and they are about you and you are putting your boundaries in place.  Keep going - hopefully you yourself can see some progress.

((())) Joanne



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Hey SF - you did awesome! I did get a chuckle outa the 'code word' - snuggle. There are so, so many things I can relate to and communication as well as intimacy are the main 2 areas where "Men are from Venus and Women are from Mars" or vice versa! I can recall many times I was going through life feeling overwhelmed by kids, house, other, life, etc. and mine would suggest 'snuggling'...I have no doubt that I looked at him like he had 3 horns or something!

What I know about healthy relationships is all things go better when there appears to be cohesion vs. adversary. When I was battling the disease and the diseased, my stress and anxiety were high often/always and I let self-care go out the window. Al-Anon suggests (over and over) that we learn how to practice self-care. It's about the basics but it also includes things like this - where we make the best choice in a situation for us vs. to please another, keep peace, avoid confrontation, etc.

So - you done awesome! And while it may have felt wrong or foreign to put you first, over time, as we continue to practice, it feel more natural. I vividly recall pausing long enough to ask myself, "what's the healthy response in this moment?" I still do this, esp. when my first thought is to react. Just pausing long enough to pray before I proceed helps me formulate a healthier response over and over again.

Keep doing you! Keep doing what you're doing! There's never any shame in taking good care of us - it's the healthy thing to do. Snuggle when you want to and when you're ready! Love, light and (((Hugs)))!

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Practice the PAUSE...Pause before judging.  Pause before assuming.  Pause before accusing.  Pause whenever you are about to react harshly and you will avoid doing and saying things you will later regret.  ~~~~  Lori Deschene

 

 



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Thank you all so much.

And I will definitely be checking out the book suggestions asap

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Bo


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Keep it up SunnyFrogs!!! You have such great awareness around who you are, what you are feeling, and what you are facing. You got this!!!

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God, grant me the serenity...to accept the PEOPLE I cannot change...the courage to change the ONE I can...and the wisdom to know it's ME...

 



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Every single time we listen to ourselves and honor what we are feeling, that is self care. Many many times in my life , I have done things that I really did not want to do , just to keep others happy and rid myself of guilt. That was not valuing myself.

I have learned, SLOWLY, that it is more then OK, it is imperative that I value myself enough to do what is best for me. I learn to sit with the feelings that inevitably crop up.

Great job on honoring your self.

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serenity47 wrote:

Every single time we listen to ourselves and honor what we are feeling, that is self care. Many many times in my life , I have done things that I really did not want to do , just to keep others happy and rid myself of guilt. That was not valuing myself.

I have learned, SLOWLY, that it is more then OK, it is imperative that I value myself enough to do what is best for me. I learn to sit with the feelings that inevitably crop up.

Great job on honoring your self.


 

That's excellent!!! Thank you for sharing that serenity!



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Bo

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God, grant me the serenity...to accept the PEOPLE I cannot change...the courage to change the ONE I can...and the wisdom to know it's ME...

 

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